What is it about?

Feeding tubes are an important device for people who are not able to eat by mouth due to difficulty swallowing. These devices require additional care and support to prevent infections and other complications. We found by including a multi-disciplinary team, including dietitians and nurses we were able to significantly reduce complications by creating three educational sessions. These sessions increased patient knowledge and awareness to reduce complications from protocols created for each discipline and a multi-format patient education session (verbal, written, demonstration), standardized order sets, creation of stomach manikin, and two-day supply kit for GT site care post-procedure. These sessions increased patient knowledge and awareness to reduce complications. Complications were reduced by 54%, confirming our process improved feeding tube care.

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Why is it important?

This research is unique because it includes only adult patients. Most of the research available on the education of patients in the care of feeding tubes is in the pediatric population. This is significant because pediatric patients typically rely on their parents for support whereas, adults typically take part in their own care. Adults can require additional education and support to achieve success to own the 'why' in the process.


I hope this article helps other facilities achieve fewer feeding tube complications and increase patient success. This quality improvement project gives hope that those with feeding tubes are not destined to have issues. Although these tubes do not come without a fair learning curve, it is possible with adequate education, hands-on demonstration, and support staff to help many patients achieve success in their own tube care. I hope you find this article helpful in your practice.

Deanna Emmons
Beacon Health System

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Reducing outpatient gastrostomy tube complications, Nutrition in Clinical Practice, June 2021, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1002/ncp.10686.
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